NGO Calls for Protection of Ibibio Language, Host Bible Quiz in Mother Tongue
A Non-Governmental Organization – Victor and Helen Foundation, sponsors of Ebekpo Abasi Program on Tang Sio 102.7 Fm, has called on all Akwa Ibom people to promote and protect the Ibibio Language to avoid extinction intentionally.
According to the University Don, Associate Professor Friday Ude (Ph.D.), the “death of a language is tantamount to the loss of a people and their culture, as language is inextricably tied to culture and vice versa. Ibibio is the lingua franca in Akwa Ibom State. That is why it is very pertinent to keep our languages in Akwa Ibom State alive”.
The Linguistic expert, Mr. Ude (Ph.D.), who was the Chairman on occasion, spoke on the challenges of teaching, learning, and speaking Ibibio. He listed such challenges as the status of the language, Limited chances for career progression, prestige, lack of teaching material, government policies, technology development, employment prospects, lack of qualified teachers, family – parent perception, among others.
He further spoke on the effort of the Victor and Helen Foundation in checking these challenges. Ude said the foundation introduced Ibibio Bible competition for children as a way of encouraging them to make use of the language at home since the Bible is most times read at home.
Other efforts include awarding scholarships to the best-performing students of the Ibibio programme, providing teaching materials to aid in teaching and learning Ibibio, and assisting in the technological development of the Ibibio language to compete with other languages.
When asked about the future of graduates of Ibibio Language, Ude said, “career opportunities like serving as skilled Translator/Interpreter, Copywriter/Editor, Language Consultant, Ibibio Language Teacher, University Lecturer, Author/Publisher, Advertiser/brander, Lexicographer, actor/actor trainer, language and cultural entrepreneur et cetera” abound.